Guidelines

I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.








Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Issues from the District 1 Round Table Part II: High School Crisis--Mental Health Breakdowns

Perhaps the most troubling thing I heard yesterday in my round table meeting, beyond the near unanimous concern about bus discipline referrals, was that in at least some of our schools, mental health breakdowns are hitting crisis level proportions!  One principal from one school stated that this was the biggest challenge at the school.  It was stated that in the first two months of the semester, at this one school alone, 26 students were Baker-Acted, resulting in their removal from the school. Students were cutting themselves, acting out, and threatening to commit suicide.  Extremely troubling.  Answers as to why this is occurring in some schools centered on factors external to the schools mainly, including a continuing economic malaise that has left some families and their children hopeless.  I asked the question  "Why is nobody talking about this" To which I was told people were talking about this issue.  I intend to dig deep on this and learn much more about the causes and to see if there is anything more the Board can do to help these students.  This was the first I heard of what is, apparently, a very widespread issue in some schools.  I asked if it was possibly drug related at this particular school, and the principal stated that he did not think so;  This principal went on to state that he felt the district's drug policy--including and in particular the drug dog sweeps-were helping his school combat the drug issue in the community.  Knowing how strongly the push-back was to the comprehensive drug plan a few years back, I was happy to hear this same principal exclaim that he thought the use of the drug-dogs was "Ingenious."  Sounds like we now need a comprehensive plan to combat depression in schools.  This will be discussed in the workshop.

2 comments:

Lorraine said...

Thank you, Mr. Bergosh, for bringing this issue up. It doesn't really matter what the causes are per se; what matters is that these kids are clearly undergoing severe psychological stress.

Want to know how the Board can help? Tell teachers to balance love with firmness. Whatever the causes of their mental health issues, if a student knows a teacher and the administration cares about them, they will trust them.

In my experience as a substitute teacher, many students, especially from the lower-income schools, do not believe teachers nor deans care for them. That's because the disciplinary approaches are merely punitive and lack a positive, caring relationship between student and disciplinarian. They view faculty and administration as just out to get them instead of trying to develop them.

We can have distant procedures to help a suicidal kid, but if it's not done with love, and if there isn't a culture of love and compassion in the school, it's just going to be another apathetic procedure.

This lady speaks more on the issue of love.
http://petalsofjoy.org/?p=940

Lorraine said...

(Please delete previous comment for type)
Thank you, Mr. Bergosh, for bringing this issue up. It doesn't matter what the causes are per se; what matters is that these kids are clearly undergoing severe psychological stress.

Want to know how the Board can help? Tell teachers to balance love with firmness. Whatever the causes of their mental health issues, if a student knows a teacher and the administration care about them, they will trust them.

In my experience as a substitute teacher, many students, especially from the lower-income schools, do not believe teachers nor deans care for them. That's because the disciplinary approaches are merely punitive and lack a positive, caring relationship between student and disciplinarian. They view faculty and administration as just out to get them instead of trying to develop them.

We can have distant procedures to help a suicidal kid, but if it's not done with love, and if there isn't a culture of love and compassion in the school, it's just going to be another apathetic procedure.

This lady speaks more on the issue of love.
http://petalsofjoy.org/?p=940